Snakes have slithered around earth for hundreds of millions of years. These ancient reptiles help keep populations in check, regulate our environment, and some have even become beloved pets. Yet, they remain fascinating creatures. As with many species, there are still some things we have yet to discover about them. World Snake Day celebrates these reptiles!
Here are some facts about snakes you might not know:
- Snakes shed their skin to grow faster and get rid of parasites. This can vastly improve their health. This process Is called ecdysis.
- Snakes are found on every continent except Antartica! These cold-blooded creatures find the arctic a little too chilly. There are more than 3,400 species of snakes worldwide.
- Some snakes can glide through the air. Researchers have found snakes in Asia that can travel up to 24 meters in the air—and still land on a branch!
- Snake venom has been widely used in medicine to develop treatments to various illnesses.
- More than 1 in 5 species of reptiles are faced with extinction.
Unfortunately, snakes and other reptiles have faced scrutiny from improperly educated individuals. World Snake Day brings awareness to this issue. These animals are essential to our ecosystems, and all animals benefit from their presence in natural environments.
However, there are still threats and unknowns regarding these species. Viral and fungal infections have led to serious health concerns in wild snake populations. In addition, their diet and behavioral patterns require more observation. These are all factors the Wild Animal Health Fund has previously funded projects for.
The Wild Animal Health Fund is helping protect and learn more about these creatures. This year, we funded a research study to determine the effects of suppressing the immune system of watersnakes with fungal infections. Your support will help zoo and wildlife veterinarians better manage outbreaks within captive and free-range snake populations.
Celebrate World Snake Day by supporting snake health!